Bizarre Reason Behind Why We Have Intrusive Thoughts Will Make You Feel Less Ashamed

By Abdul Rafay in Health and Fitness On 18th September 2023
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If you ask any of your friends, I'm sure they'll admit to having intrusive thoughts. 

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We've all made mistakes, from pressing the emergency stop button on a train when it wasn't necessary to accidentally rear-ending the driver in front of you.

Friends, don't worry; you're not crazy. It turns out that having thoughts like this, no matter how bizarre or outlandish, is actually fairly common.

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The nature of some of your ideas may be incredibly unsettling, leading you to wonder whether it's your fault you're experiencing them when, in reality, it's not.

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It's actually a lot more common than you may realize. 

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Your brain generates these ideas because you don't want to behave in that way, and for some reason, it also happens to be the most improper thing it can imagine.

Strange, I know.

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According to Harvard Health, one of the main causes of them is stress or anxiety.

They may also be influenced by biological reasons; for instance, women who have just given birth may experience more intrusive thoughts than usual as a result of hormonal changes.

While you may believe that the best course of action is to try to suppress your intrusive thoughts, doing so could cause them to last longer and occur more frequently.

For Psychology Today, Hannah Reese, a clinical and research psychology fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, wrote: "The very act of monitoring your thoughts for the absence of a thought can make it occur more frequently.”

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"When someone becomes very distressed by their intrusive thoughts, goes to great lengths to get rid of them, and prevent them from occurring, this can become a form of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD).”

"People with this 'bad thoughts' form of OCD often avoid things that could trigger these thoughts or being in situations where they might be at risk for acting on a thought."

Then, what do we do about our want to kick our neighbor's cute Cavapoo next door? The medical staff at Harvard Health is here to help, and they advise that you start by recognizing the thought.

A Harvard Medical School lecturer in psychiatry, Dr. Kerry-Ann Williams, advises saying to yourself, "That's just an intrusive thought; it's not how I think, it's not what I believe, and it's not what I want to do."

In addition, you are advised not to resist the thinking and not to criticize yourself for it.

However, Harvard Health advises you to visit a mental health expert for more guidance if you find that your intrusive thoughts are having an influence on your everyday life.

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Understanding intrusive thoughts and effectively managing them is vital for our mental well-being and everyday resilience.

Grasping the essence of intrusive thoughts and developing strategies to cope with them is fundamental to preserving our mental health and everyday resilience.